Quadruplet to get medical degree with help from doctor who delivered her

Brianna Miner, 27, will graduate Saturday from UCI’s School of Medicine.

— -- A quadruplet who was born at UC Irvine Medical Center 27 years ago will graduate on Saturday from the UCI School of Medicine.

Bestowing the ceremonial hood for medical school graduate Brianna Miner will be the same doctor who delivered her and her siblings in a high-risk delivery that was a first for the Orange County hospital.

“I just thought about how much he had done for my family,” Miner told ABC News of asking Dr. Manuel Porto. “I thought it was a pretty obvious choice to ask him to do that for me as kind of the final step.”

Porto, the senior associate dean for clinical affairs and professor of ob-gyn at UCI Medical School, led a team of doctors and nurses in 1990 that prepared for the birth of the Miner quadruplets.

Miner, from Chino Hills, California, and her siblings -- Vincent, Whitney and Jeffrey -- were conceived through gamete intrafallopian transfer (GIFT), a fertility treatment used before in-vitro fertilization became more prominent. Their delivery was so high-risk and unprecedented that a manual was created and Porto oversaw what he called “fire drills,” or rehearsals, of their birth.

The quadruplets' mom, Karen Miner, spent 53 days hospitalized at UCI Medical Center prior to their delivery at 32 weeks. The babies were all born healthy and the family has kept in touch with Porto ever since, including him in milestone events like birthday parties and graduations.

When Brianna Miner decided she wanted to go to medical school, she was thrilled to learn she was accepted at UCI. The person who called to let her know was Porto.

“I kind of held my breath and crossed my fingers that she would be accepted and then choose the school,” Porto told ABC News.

Just as thrilled was Miner’s mom, Karen.

“I can’t even tell you ... my heart was so filled,” she said. “It’s just very meaningful to us because UCI became part of our family, especially in the very beginning, so to see that come full circle is so special.”

Miner said she was contacted through all four years of medical school by hospital staff who remembered helping with her delivery.

“I realized so many people played a role in our births,” she said. “And in medical school, when I realized the feat that had to happen for us to be born it was even more meaningful, just how big of a role UCI played and what Dr. Porto and his team went through for us to have a safe delivery 27 years ago.”

When Miner and her siblings were born, the medical team assigned each baby a color in order to keep them organized. Miner, the oldest by one minute, was assigned the color green, which is now her favorite color.

By chance, the ceremonial hood for medical school graduation is green.

Porto called it the “highlight” of his nearly 40-year career to be asked by Miner to hood her at her graduation.

“So often as an obstetrician we see how the babies that we bring into the world are at birth but knowing how they ultimately turn into as adults is something we don’t know,” he said. “And to have one who came in at such a tenuous state go on to achieve such a wonderful place in her life is a really gratifying experience for me.”

Miner plans to spend her three-year residency at a Chicago-area hospital. Though she came close to choosing ob-gyn as her specialty, Miner plans to specialize in emergency medicine.

She is leaving open to chance that she may one day return to UCI to practice medicine.

“Three years is enough time for big life changes to happen so we’ll see what happens, but UCI is a great place,” she said.